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FUTURE Overview

What is the FUTURE Program?

FUTURE is a career exploration program that helps PhD students and postdoctoral scholars prepare for the broad range of careers available to PhD scientists. We serve scholars from all disciplines who are conducting research that advances health. We welcome individuals from all backgrounds and identities. FUTURE was originally funded by the NIH Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) initiative and is currently supported by the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center and the School of Medicine.

The goal of FUTURE is to help participants acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to successfully transition into the careers of their choice.

What will I do in the FUTURE Program?

The centerpiece of the FUTURE program is our 10-week Career Exploration workshop series, which meets weekly for 2 hours over the course of one academic quarter. All participants attend the FUTURE workshop series upon entry into the program. Through participation in the workshops, FUTURE members learn strategies for exploring career options, practice skills for learning about and pursuing careers, interact with PhD scientists working in a variety of professions, and become part of a community of peers invested in career preparation. Participants who complete all program requirements receive a Professional Development Certificate.

After attending the workshop series, many FUTURE participants are interested in continuing their career exploration. The FUTURE program encourages and supports engagement in a variety of career exposure activities, including informational interviews, career skills workshops, job shadows, career site visits, and internships. For those interested in an internship experience, we promote internships with a variety of formats (part-time, full-time, remote, on-site, paid, unpaid) to meet the various needs and limitations of both participants and hosts. Applying creative approaches to structuring internships can make these immersive career experiences accessible to more grad students and postdocs. The FUTURE program does not place participants in internship positions, but we provide the tools, resources and support to enable grad students and postdocs to pursue these opportunities on their own. 

What are the benefits?

Postdocs and PhD graduate students who participate in the FUTURE Program will:

  • Acquire tools and skills to explore and pursue the broad range of careers available to PhD scientists
  • Be connected to professionals in our FUTURE Partner Network, a pool of PhD scientists working in a variety of careers
  • Gain priority access to FUTURE program career exposure activities and events
  • Receive career support from our FUTURE team of PhD professionals – we’ve been where you are!
  • Enjoy support from the FUTURE Peer Network, which includes current and former FUTURE participants comprising a community of graduate students and postdocs committed to career preparation
  • Become eligible to apply to the FUTURE Career Exploration Fund to offset expenses related to career and professional development activities. This fund is open to participants who have completed all requirements for the Professional Development Certificate.
Who is eligible?

FUTURE is open to all UC Davis PhD students and postdocs engaged in any research related to advancing health. For more information about eligibility go to our Program Details page.

How do I participate?

Graduate students and postdocs who are eligible can apply through our website at any time. Depending on interest, we may offer more than one workshop series per academic year. Applicants must commit to attending the full series of career exploration workshops. 

How do I learn more about the program?

Find more program details Here

Explore our website from the Homepage

Come to an Information Session

Contact Program Staff

For general questions, please send a message to FUTUREprogram@ucdavis.edu

Come to an Info Session!
  • TBD: Virtual Session 

FUTURE Program Details